Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: 100 Plus sub-36 min finishes for Danny Smith

Friday, December 30, 2016

100 Plus sub-36 min finishes for Danny Smith

Danny Smith of Ballynonty AC is a regular at a lot of road races in Cork and often features in the top 3 finishers. In this guest article by John Walshe, he outlines Danny's remarkable achievement of running under 36 minutes over 100 times in 10km road races.


A time of 36 minutes for 10km represents an average of 5:48 per mile for the 6.21-mile distance. It’s a clocking many people would be justly proud of and nowadays more than likely guarantee an individual prize and even an outright win.

At the Thomas Kent Memorial 10km held at Castlelyons a few weeks ago, Danny Smith’s time of 35:26 did indeed give him victory in this inaugural race. But it wasn’t the first occasion that he had comfortably broken the barrier - amazingly it was the 111th time that he has run under 36 minutes for the 10km distance.

Tipperary-man Danny is no stranger to Cork races and of those 111 sub-36:00 times, 29 have been in

this county, including his fastest of 33:00 which he recorded in the Emer Casey Memorial race in Youghal last May.

“My first 10km was the Ballygowan race in Clonmel which I ran in a time of 43:01 and I recorded my first sub-36 time in the UCC 10km, a race I have competed in on seven occasions,” explained the Ballynonty club athlete.

A total of 54 10kms under 36:00 have been achieved in Tipperary, 15 in Waterford with the remainder in Limerick, Kilkenny, Wexford and Laois.
It’s not just over the 10km distance that the 38-year-old has a remarkably consistent record as he has also notched up a total of 118 five-mile races under 30 minutes.

“I have 10 sub-30 minute races in the Ballycotton Summer Series, my fastest being the 26:55 I ran in 2014,” he explains.

“The slowest five-miler was the ESB race at Curraheen back in 2004 where I recorded 29:34 and my fastest was 26:15 in Kilmacthomas in 2013. I also had my first-ever West Waterford victory this year when I won the Clashmore race in 27:24.”

Training for Danny comprises around 40 to 50 miles a week, although with such a hectic racing schedule it’s more a case of recovering between events. Although he doesn’t concentrate much on cross-country, he has both a county novice and intermediate title to his credit in the last five years, no mean feat in a county like Tipperary.

One of his proudest moments came when winning the Tipperary senior 10km road title in 2015, a race he has ran 14 times. “I won it last year for the first time; I had finished second on five occasions and I thought I’d never win it,” he admits.

A loyal member of the small Ballynonty club, Danny has also won the local 10-mile race they promote each July on three occasions. “When I started off running in 2001 I wasn’t interested in joining a club at all, I just wanted to run and enjoy it for fitness but then Neilie Hall asked me to join Ballynonty.”

Living in Burncourt, the village alongside the Mitchelstown Caves, Danny Smith is not someone who courts publicity. Therefore, you won’t find any self-congratulatory messages on Facebook describing his various achievements. Indeed, as he doesn’t embrace the internet, it’s unlikely he will read this article about himself.

So the next time you see him at a Cork event, thank him for his unstinting support of our local races and offer him your congratulations - for it takes a rare breed of athlete to run under 36 minutes for 10km and under thirty minutes for five-miles on over 100 occasions each.


Anonymous said...

I have raced many times along side Danny, such a gent and a great supporter of races all over Munster. Kevin

Fellow Runner said...

Quiet unassuming, gent probably one of the most consistent runners around, Well deserved.

Anonymous said...

An absolute gent , one of the genuine nice guys in a landscape full of egos!

Anonymous said...

Egos? We want names :)

Brock Lesnar said...

The Ego comment is kind of baffling i haven't come across anyone in the running community that i could say has an ego problem